RV Parked at Home Questions

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by scj8168, Jul 15, 2003.

  1. scj8168

    scj8168 New Member

    Our travel trailer is parked in the driveway for now. We have hooked up the electrical line to an adapter and an outside extension cord then plugged it into an outside socket. Will the rain hurt the line where the two things are connected? Does the line need to be off the ground? Also, what kind of socket does it have to be plugged into before we can run the AC while it sits in driveway?
    Yes, we are newbies...and thoroughly enjoying the RV life!
    Thanks for the help.
    Sherrie
     
  2. ARCHER

    ARCHER Senior Member

    RV Parked at Home Questions

    First of all, you should not use an extension cord to plug into the house. It should be a 30 amp circuit (like at a campground). If the circuit you have it plugged into is a circuit by itself and is rated 30amp you might be ok, but using an extension cord is a no no (check you owners manual....it probably states "do not use extension cords"). Once again, read your owners manual on electrical hookup.
    They make adapters for using your shorepower (cord attached to the MH) that will convert the three prong normal vehicle plug to a two regular plug (w/ground of course) for plugging into different service type (other than like at a campground. I think that is probably what you have done based on your post.
    If you have the adapter and the correct amp circuit, it should not be a problem in using your outside recepticle. The wire lying on the ground should not be a problem (not the extension cord), as it does on the site at a campground anyway...all of them end up on the ground anyway.
    The issue here is Extension cords.... :angry: :angry: and once again, don't use them if you can avoid it. Like I said, if you have a 30 amp circuit your plugged into, it should be just like plugging in at a campground.
     
  3. lolly

    lolly New Member

    RV Parked at Home Questions

    Archer is absolutely correct about the extension cord. Very dangerous. They would overheat significantly using an airconditioner or any other appliance that sucks a lot of amps.

    I bought some of those wrought iron garden posts that are used to hang plants---you know the kind with a U-Loop at the top. I drove them into the ground and "hung" my hoses and cords off that. They are attractive, and kept stuff off the ground. I did that just so I didn't have to move them to mow and weed-eat, and also to keep my hoses from turning black from mildew, which they tend to do when laying on the ground.
     
  4. scj8168

    scj8168 New Member

    RV Parked at Home Questions

    Thanks to both Archer AND Lolly for replying. We have decided to get an electrician to put in a new receptacle outside that the RV can be plugged into. That way we can eliminate the need for the orange extension cord, etc. We won't have to worry anymore AND can have a place for my sons to stay when they visit. ;)
    Sherrie
     
  5. Barracuda

    Barracuda New Member

    RV Parked at Home Questions

    No extension cord ever ? I have left my camper plugged in with a 15A outdoor cord when @ home for 5 years. Now, I NEVER try to run the air, but I have used the Ref on electric, and the air conditioner heating ( strip heat, not heat pump ) on occasion during the winter. As we camp all year long I keep heat on low to keep pipes from freezing. I have never had a problem. I do agree I would install a 30A receptable if I wanted to use the air, but otherwise I keep it plugged in with an outdoor approved Ext. cord.
     
  6. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    RV Parked at Home Questions

    I've used a 50 foot, 15 amp extention cord plugged into a 15 amp socket, then plugged the 15 to 30 amp adapter into the extention cord, then plugged the 30 amp trailer cord into that (I was in the street, and the outlet was in my friends garage. No problem using my air conditioner ONLY (well ok, converter, water pump and refrigerator too). The only time it might be stretching it is the AC startup surge, which is brief and not very often.

    I would not leave any cord on the ground more than a few days (not that it is a problem, just that good cords are expensive and being on the ground ages them fast), and unless it is daytime and I'm right there watching it, I wrap all junctions in plastic bags to keep any moisture out of the connections. I would also not leave any junction on the ground where it could flood, since the plastic bag treatment is only water resistant, not proof.

    When at home, I plug the trailer into a 15 amp outlet at my house (adapter but no extention cord) and use the AC and microwave, plus converter/refrigerator/etc with no problems so far. Does make me nervous though (if AC tried to start while microwave is going, for example), so I'm putting in an actual RV recepticle.

    So, to answer your questions, yes, rain can cause problems with external connections. Check out all the rules for outside outlets in the building codes... You will want to have a watertight cover (open at the bottom is ok) over the outside outlet. And you will want to have any other outside junctions water-proofed (plastic bag and duct tape is the quick and dirty way to do it). Leaving cords lying on the ground is personal choice.

    As for the type of socket, a 30 amp RV socket is best, followed by a 20 amp socket, and lastly an absolute minimum of 15 amp. This assumes that each of these sockets are protected by the appropriate breaker. The real key here is that whatever cord you use MUST be rated at least what the rest of the circuit is rated. That way, if you should happen to draw more than you should, the breaker will trip, protecting the wiring and the extention cord.

    The best extention cord would be an actual 30 amp rv extention cord, with the adapter to 15 amps, if required, right at the 15 amp socket. However, a lesser cord (20 or even 15 amp) can do the job on a temporary basis, assuming that your A/C does not trip a 15 amp breaker, and nothing else is on the circuit.

    If your A/C DOES trip a 15 amp breaker, it is possible that an 'easy start' kit (also known as a 'hard start' kit, oddly enough), may spread out the startup draw enough that you can run off a 15 amp circuit. Your best bet is to have a current meter which tells you how much current you are actually drawing with the A/C. If startup is brief and under 20 amps, and running current is 10 amps or less, you should have no problems using a 15 amp circuit to run the A/C.
     
  7. ARCHER

    ARCHER Senior Member

    RV Parked at Home Questions

    hey, my owners manual (Class A) says to not use any kind of extension cord. Perhaps you can on 5th and other campers. It is a good idea to run a separate line to the breaker box w/30 amp to plug into for your camper. I'm getting ready to do the same thing for my Class a. Make sure you understand what it takes...different size wiring for 30 amp, etc., but I guess you already know that. I agree about not leaving your shorepower cord lying on the ground. It doesn't hurt anything for a day or so, but extended time it should be off the ground.
     
  8. scj8168

    scj8168 New Member

    RV Parked at Home Questions

    Thanks, Barracuda and Hertig!!!
    We felt better about leaving the camper plugged up after reading your posts. SO....until the electrician gets here tomorrow, we have re-hooked-up (if that is a word)
    It has been so comforting to know that as newbies we can come here with any kind of question about RVing (stupid or otherwise) and get instant help.
    THANKS to all you Campers!! :cool:
    Sherrie
     
  9. GlennNY

    GlennNY New Member

  10. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    RV Parked at Home Questions

    I would never use an extension with the 16 guage wires and try to run any ac or micro waves. Low voltage is murder on ac motors and like Glenn said voltage will drop with wire size and length. (AJMO) :)
     
  11. makaiguy

    makaiguy New Member

    RV Parked at Home Questions

    Remember the household circuit you're plugging that extension cord into is protected by a fuse or circuit breaker. Mine is just a 10 amp circuit, so I'm not too worried about my 15 amp extension cord. We only use it for the lights, refrigerator, and radio when at home anyhow. Tried the A/C one time, just to see if it worked (new trailer and a very cool spring and early summer has kept us from needing it) and it popped the home circuit breaker right away.
     
  12. scj8168

    scj8168 New Member

    RV Parked at Home Questions

    Thank you, everyone, for your input. The electrician just left. He installed an RV 30 amp socket with a good cover over it. Now our little TT is all ready in case either of my sons wants to spend the night. They have privacy and so do we! Besides, we have another trip on the horizon before SCHOOL starts again. :cool:
    Is RVing an addiction! ;)
    Sherrie
     
  13. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    RV Parked at Home Questions

    :approve: :)
     
  14. scj8168

    scj8168 New Member

    RV Parked at Home Questions

    Mr. Nash,
    I take that as a big YES vote for addiction?!!!
    You bet!
    Sherrie
     
  15. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    RV Parked at Home Questions

    :approve: :approve: :approve: :bleh: :laugh:
     

Share This Page